By Dave Morrison
ESPN Radio 102.3 The Ticket
CHARLESTON – Wyoming East coach Derek Brooks knew that Chapmanville’s guards could score. He knew that the Tigers size inside would be a matchup problem.
He saw that on film.
It was what he didn’t see that turned the tide in Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup.
Chapmanville turned turnovers into points early and shut down the Warriors’ long-range shooting attack that had accounted for over 200 3s this season, in a 65-42 victory.
“I watched four films and I never saw them guard like that,” Brooks said outside the media room. “What I saw, they sagged off on the perimeter. They did a real good job of guarding the perimeter. We never really had any open looks. Kudos to them, they are a great team.”
As a result, Wyoming East’s guards, Jon Sims and Corey McKinney, who had a combined 142 3 pointers coming into the state tournament, struggled. They were a combined 3 of 11 from 3-point range. Sims, Wyoming East’s leading scorer, was hampered by early foul trouble, and spent the entire second quarter on the bench, a a long stretch in the third.
The two combined for 13 points.
Wyoming East was 13 of 44 from the floor and finished 6 of 21 from 3-point range. Hot-shooting Chapmanville was 23 for 44 (52.3 percent) and hit 6 of 15 (40) percent from long distance.
Drew Williamson scored 23 points, hitting 9 of 11 shots from the floor, to lead Tigers to a semifinal matchup Friday against the Bluefield-Lincoln winner.
It was Chapmanville’s first state tournament victory, and only the school’s third trip to the tournament.
Chapmanville did get a good start, racing out to a 26-9 lead. Wyoming East weathered that storm, ending the half with a 14-4 run to trim the lead to 30-23 at the half.
It was the second that was killer.
Chapmanville (22-4) opened the second half with a 17-0 run, a lot of that without bigs Obinna Anochili-Killen (6-8) or Hunter Neil (6-7) on the floor.
“One of our strengths is the ability to go with a small lineup if we need to,” Chapmanville coach Brad Napier said. “We have about eight or nine kids who can do different things.”
Without the bigs, Williamson took over, scoring eight of the first 10 points on the run, including two 3s. He was 4 of 6 from 3-point range in the game.
“He’s a good player,” Brooks said. “He can shoot the ball. He can penetrate and kick it out. We tried to switch up (defenses, and players on Williamson) but it was a tough matchup.”
Zach Cook and Dylan Brehm finished with 10 points each in the game. Cook, who had 17 rebounds in the sectional championship win over Westside and regional win over Shady Spring, had 10 more rebounds. It was his fourth straight double-double.
Wyoming East ends the season 15-11.
“I’m proud of these kids, “ Brooks said. “We weren’t supposed to be here. We were picked, I think, next-to-last in our section. They’ve proved people wrong all season.”